Riot Games president vents frustrations over greed accusations

Riot Games president vents frustrations over greed accusations
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

January 2nd 2014 at 1:00PM

Marc Merrill hits back at suggestions the free-to-play firm is milking its players for money

The president of Riot Games has defended the League of Legends developer against accusations of being 'money hungry'.

Marc Merrill took to Reddit after one user suggested the company had been "very, very greedy" with the free-to-play MoBA, claiming item and champion costs had risen since the title was in beta.

"I love the game, but hate the company practices that I have seen develop," said the user.

"Sorry to all the fanboys who will disagree with this, but I am sure other people see these things developing."

In response however, Merrill said it was frustrating people were trying to position the company as greedy, and countered the accusations by stating the firm had built one of the first successful free online games for the core market in the West, and one that was fun.

"If you compare the price of League of Legends entertainment per hour to every other form of media, we're the lowest around (we should probably commission a study to explain this), but the easiest examples to think of are: movies, magazines, books, box games, etc. $60 for 10 hours, woo!" he said.

"Millions upon millions of our players spend zero dollars on league and enjoy it endlessly. We're COMPLETELY OK with this. Greedy how? You do not have to spend money, it is completely opt-in.

"We spend tens of millions of dollars building a pro-eSports scene to help some of our best players become global superstars who make hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"We build a TV show that also costs millions and we run ZERO ads on it to deliver a great experience to our players, entirely free."

Merrill went on to say the company was driven towards engagement and delivering value for players. He also suggested that when the company had made controversial decisions in the past, it was often willing to reverse them.

An example of this came in December when Riot Games banned tournament players from the Championship Series streaming a competitor's game. Following negative feedback from players, the company lifted the ban.

Merill added: "So, no offence - but I completely disagree with your greed accusation and yes, it pisses me off because I've spent the last eight years of my life building this company, game and team to deliver great value and to treat players well - and largely because the Rioter to player ratio has changed from like 1:5,000 to 1:50,000, our core message and passion is being diluted.

"So, thanks for the additional reminder we need to do better at explaining who we are. But FUCK me if I don't allow a little emotion to slip in when the takeaway is so utterly wrong for who we are as a company."